Technologies

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WARF Technologies

You can also view all of our technologies on the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) website »

GLBRC's Technologies

Technologies

As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Center, we are positioned to make key discoveries and major advances that will lead to breakthrough technologies for eventual large-scale conversion of biomass into fuels. Each new invention, patent and license listed here represents another step toward that goal.

GLBRC is seeking commercial partners interested in developing the following technologies.

Conversion of Biomass Sugars via Fermentation

Brian Pfleger, James Dumesic, Jeremy Luterbacher, Jacqueline Rand

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Microorganisms like yeast and Escherichia coli are cultured in labs for many purposes, notably the production of useful chemicals (such as ethanol) via fermentation. The growth media used in these processes are relatively expensive. Cheaper media derived from renewable resources would be a boon to researchers and industries that rely...

Patent application submitted

Wisconsin-Sourced Lager Yeast

Chris Hittinger, David Peris Navarro, Kayla Sylvester

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Beer can be divided into two broad categories: ales and lagers. Ales have been brewed for thousands of years. They are warm fermented (up to 80° F) for as little as three weeks using top-fermenting yeast (i.e., yeast that rises when fermentation is complete).

In contrast, lagers were first brewed...

Patent application submitted

Lignin from Transgenic Poplar Is Easier to Process

John Ralph, Curtis Wilkerson, Saunia Withers, Shawn Mansfield

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Lignin is an important plant cell wall component that provides structural support and vascular functions. It is one of the most abundant organic polymers on Earth, constituting about 30 percent of non-fossil organic carbon. However, the chemical structure of lignin is difficult to break down by chemical and enzymatic means,...

Patent application submitted

Natural Antiobiotic to Treat Clostridium Infection and More

Timothy Bugni, Thomas Wyche, Douglas Braun, Jeff Piotrowski, Nasia Safdar

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Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is an escalating problem, especially in hospital settings. The Centers for Disease Control recently identified Clostridium difficile as posing an “urgent” health threat, highlighting the need for new and effective therapeutics.

C. difficile is the most common cause of nosocomial infectious diarrhea. The bacteria sicken half a...

Patent application submitted

High Yield Method to Produce LGO from Biomass

George Huber, Fei Cao, James Dumesic, Thomas Schwartz

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Levoglucosenone (LGO) is a highly dehydrated sugar typically derived from cellulose. It is an important, non-petroleum building block chemical with potential uses in a wide range of industrial processes. For example, it can be converted to 1,6-hexanediol to be utilized in the production of polyurethanes and polyesters.

Conventionally,...

Patent application submitted

Modified Yeast with Enhanced Tolerance for GVL Biomass Solvent

Jeff Piotrowski, Trey Sato, Chad Myers, Robert Landick

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Gamma-valerolactone (GVL) is an inexpensive solvent derived from biomass that can be used to break apart tough lignocellulose into fermentable sugars including xylose and glucose. GVL-based techniques are a potentially transformative breakthrough in biofuel production (for more information see WARF reference number P130123US01).

Problematically, residual levels of GVL...

Patent application submitted

Grass Modified for Easier Bioprocessing

John Ralph, Curtis Wilkerson, Saunia Withers, John Sedbrook

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Manufacturing paper and producing biofuels is difficult because the lignin in plant cell walls is tough to degrade. Current techniques are energy intensive and use harsh chemicals. In the case of biofuels, costly pretreatments are required to alter the lignin and help enzymes produce sugars for fermentation. Grass lignins contain...

Patent application submitted

Microbes Produce High Yields of Fatty Alcohols from Glucose

Brian Pfleger, J. Tyler Youngquist

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Fatty alcohols are used in detergents, emulsifiers, lubricants and personal care items. More than 1.3 million tons of fatty alcohols are used worldwide each year, representing a $3 billion market.

Currently, fatty alcohols are produced either through the processing of natural fats and oils or from petrochemicals. As...

Patent application submitted

Method For Generating Plant Biomass With Lower Processing Requirements For Biofuel Production

Kyung-Hwan Han, Won-Chan Kim, Kenneth Keegstra, Ida Barbara Reca

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Global civilization is heavily reliant on petroleum for necessary fuels and specialty polymers. Although new fossil fuels are continually being formed through natural processes, the conversion of organic material to oil takes millions of years. At the current rate of global consumption, oil reserves are being depleted much faster than...

Patent issued

Selective Conversion of Lignin into Simple Aromatic Compounds

Shannon Stahl, Alireza Rahimi

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Lignin is a major component of non-edible biomass (15-30 percent by weight; 40 percent by energy). It is a cheap byproduct of pulp and biofuel production and is one of the few naturally occurring sources of high-volume aromatic compounds. Converting lignin’s complex biopolymer structure into simple organic chemicals attracts substantial...

Patent issued

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